Socializing an Older Dog

I would start with the basics. You want to desensitize him to touch first. This will allow you and others to easily groom him as well as brush his teeth and make it easy for you to check him for bumps, etc.

When you are doing this, you will want to have plenty of treats on hand as this will help him associate these things with something pleasant, food.

You’ll want to start by quietly touching him, like you’re going to brush him. When he behaves, praise him and reward him with a treat. Then you can add a brush, and do the same. When it comes to doing his teeth, you’ll want to first put a little doggy toothpaste on your finger then let him lick it off. Praise him and give him a treat. Repeat each day going a little farther until you can easily stick your fingers in his mouth and touch his teeth. Once you can do this for 30 seconds or so, add the toothbrush.

Once he’s ok being handled, you’ll want to get him used to other people. Start by inviting a couple of friends over. Keep the dog on a leash. Have your guests hand feed him his treats until he is relaxed around them. Repeat this process over and over, each time having different people come over. Eventually, he’ll look forward to people because it means treats!

Once he is used to people coming and going, it’s time to hit the streets. Take him for a walk on his leash, when you approach someone have him sit/stay. Allow the person to pass, then praise him and reward him for sitting quietly. Once he does this, try it with him walking by the person. If he barks, put him in a sit/stay. Once he has mastered walking with people around, it’s time to move on to other dogs.

You will want to start by allowing him to watch other dogs from a distance. When a dog comes into sight, give him a treat and keep giving him treats as long as the other dog is in view. (This goes back to the new visitors he learned before, new people = FOOD). If he barks or doesn’t want the treat, move farther away and try again. Keep repeating the process until you and your dog can approach another dog without barking.

Allow them to sniff. If someone gets aggressive, immediately turn with your dog and walk away. Repeat the approach process. This will be the most frustrating part, but it will eventually sink in that barking and fighting is a no-no.

If your dog is the opposite and tries to run away, stay positive and act like meeting the other dog is no big deal. Don’t pull him toward the other dog or talk soothing to him or even pet him. Doing this reinforces the fearful behavior. Only reward him when he starts to relax and explore what the other dog is all about. Let him approach things he’s scared of on his own terms.

With a lot of patience and love your dog will adapt.

6 Dog Training Tips That Alter Negative Behavior

Dog TrainingAlmost every dog owner will have to use some sort of behavior modification techniques at one time or another when training their prized pet. If you are able to understand why your dog does what he does, when he does it, you are one step closer to solving the problem. This article will detail six ways of doing just that, in a general fashion that can be used for a wide variety of issues.

Tip #1: It’s All about Control

Let your dog know who is in charge, and you’ve alleviated a lot of problems. It’s not about fighting for control, it’s about knowing who has it. So when it’s time to train your dog, put on his training collar so he’s fully aware of what time it is. Alternatively, use a leash when walking your dog, so that he knows who is boss all of the time.

Tip #2: Reframe the Negative

Instead of telling your dog, “NO” for something bad he’s done, try and reframe the negative into something positive instead. For instance, if your dog decided to run after a chipmunk running across your lawn, try, “Sit” instead of whatever you’d normally use. Now you can praise him as well for his good behavior, instead of yelling at him because he didn’t stop.

Tip #3: Allow for Differences in Perception

Your dog may not think that digging is a bad behavior, but you and your garden probably do. Instead of getting upset, why not provide your dog with adequate digging space elsewhere, complete with buried treasures? Then, you can do the same as dog training tip number two, and provide positive feedback when he digs in the allotted space, and not in your flower garden.

Tip #4: Use Consistency

Make Sure the Whole Household Acts Consistently When you are training your dog, make sure that everyone in the house knows what you are doing, and how to provide supportive measures when needed. That means that if you are teaching the word sit, then everyone in the house should know what to do, when to do it, and why if a behavior presents itself where the command should be used.

Tip #5: Keep Moving

Many behavioral issues with dogs lie behind the fact that they don’t get out enough for a long walk or run. Make sure to take them out on a regular basis (daily, if at all possible) to somewhere new that he can explore on his own time.

Tip #6: Keep it Simple

The more clear you are with your dog while training him, the better off everyone will be. Show your dog what you are asking him to do, instead of just telling him. Give the command at the same time while you show him (gently, of course) and ensure that your body language matches your words.